Over the summer, in the height of my “take on the world with my writing” glory, I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar for women called She Speaks. It was everything I needed to reaffirm God’s call on my life and inspire me to press forward through all of the challenges in bold faith.
But there was a moment, during that seminar, when a speaker said something that resonated in my soul in a way that felt as empowering as it did convicting. Author and speaker Liz Curtis Higgs said, “Don’t count the numbers, they all count to God.”
The concept blew my business building oriented mind. Because that’s just not what the world says. No, the world says numbers count. And if you don’t have the numbers, then you don’t. But this? This felt heavy. This felt like a blanket of truth I couldn’t quite shrug off and one I didn’t know if I wanted to be covered in. This sparked a moment of clarity where I had no choice but to come face to face with God and admit I’d been wrong.
When you write a blog, you can’t help but track some numbers. But what starts off as a mini celebration for every single page view added to the daily tally, can easily turn into discontentment and despair over stagnant readership and a plateaued audience. One day, in the beginning, you’re jumping for joy because you reached 50 people with a post, and the next you’re wondering why you even bother spend time writing because it hasn’t quite reached 500. If I’m being honest, I thought I was going to attend this conference to learn how to grow my numbers; to learn how to be greater than I was when I started. I thought the purpose of writing was to be a part of a grand plan… maybe, if I’m really honest, to be grand, myself.
I guess that’s why I should be grateful for this season I’m in. Because there is no perceptions of grandeur. Today, in this moment, my life is what it is. A friend just asked me what my goals were for the next two weeks and the best I could come up with was to “learn what God is trying to teach me.” Which, quite frankly, even that feels like a stretch beyond anything I can accomplish in 14 days. Because if it’s humility I’m needing to embrace, it might take a heck of a lot longer than I’d like to admit.
What Liz said has been popping back into my mind, because God has shown me something that I absolutely needed to see. I could be annoyed that I’m not doing what I wanted to be doing, by now, and I was annoyed up until a couple of days ago. Because, listen, I have an agenda like everyone else on the planet. And sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair that other people get to move forward with what they want and I have Holy Spirit convicting me to wait until God says it’s time. Truthfully, it can be downright frustrating to watch the people around me have their cake and eat it too, while I’m just sitting here waiting to be told to pick up a fork.
If you’ve spoken to me recently, I might have said I’m in a season of fruitlessness. It was as if not showing up on my blog, not reaching hundreds of people, not producing excellent posts on Facebook, meant that I was not valuable at all. I equated the worth of my kingdom donations, if you will, with the number of people that could see it. Because, again, numbers are everything in our modern day society. Yet, if there’s anything we know to be true about God’s economy, it’s that it is completely opposite of the world’s.
Obedience in a believer seems bizarre to our culture.
I know God told me to leave my business behind to fulfill His purpose for my life through writing. I know God told me to side step college in this season to fulfill His purpose for my life through writing. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I have heard the phrase “No, write.” from Him many times over as I contemplated various distractions.
Here I am, happily pregnant and anxiously dull, feeling like I’ve been wandering and waiting just to be told to “Hold tight, I’ve got something else to show you before I bless you in that way.” I heard “no, write.” but I didn’t realize that that comma would mean a season of pregnancy– pregnancy, by the way, that I have spent over a year praying for and clinging to, desperately seeking this joy that now seems like an “in the way” challenge– and with it, a season of still.
The world moves so fast. And if I’m not careful, I can start to feel like I’m being left behind. If I’m not intentional with my thoughts, and making them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), I can begin to feel resentful that I’ve been this dedicated and am still in the holding. Entitlement, the curse of my generation and those in the next, can ensnare my mindset… as if I could ever do enough for God. As if I could ever earn my blessings.
But the words spoken over me at that gathering of women seems to carry immeasurable meaning in my heart, these days. If this isn’t my season to grow, then so be it. If God wants me to study, learn, and sit quietly in His rest, then so be it. If God has pressed a mission onto my heart and into my spirit, lighting a fire that screams “run, let’s do this, achieve, try, press forward…”, but then says, “slow down and receive what I have for you first”, then so be it.
The more I resist this particularly quiet and often mundane moment in time, the longer it will last. It’s a lot like my tendency to not speed up even if a car gets rudely close to my bumper on the highway…that driver’s urgency does not change my convictions about how fast I’m willing to go. My desperation to move on does not change God’s intentions to teach me what I need to know first.
Maybe you’re like me, sitting, waiting, a puppy eager to please but dying to run around like crazy. Maybe you’ve been here awhile, maybe you’ve just gotten to this place and are having a hard time adapting to the change of pace. Can I encourage you, friend, to trust God? To know that if He’s given you a promise, He will fulfill that promise at the exact perfect time? To embrace whatever season you are in, knowing that God has a plan for your life and it is good?
I know the struggle. I feel your pain. But let’s face it, nothing we do can gain us what God isn’t ready to give us, so we may as well sit down, take a deep breath, and pray “then so be it” until He is.
How do you handle the wait?